Last updated on October 9, 2020
Did you know that the setting you choose can make the colour of your diamond look better or worse? The choice of metal can not only affect the ring’s style and appearance but also make the stone appear whiter or tinted. Let’s find out how to choose the best setting for your diamond based on its colour to achieve the look you want.
What is Diamond Colour?
When talking about diamond colour we mean how white or colourless the stone is. The highest quality diamonds are completely colourless while lower quality diamonds have yellowish or brownish tints.
Diamond colour is graded using a scale developed by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America), which goes from D to Z, with D being the most colourless, and Z containing yellow or brown tints noticeable to the naked eye.
Each letter grade falls under a clearly defined range of colour appearance:
- D-E-F – colourless
- G-H-I-J – near colourless
- K-L-M – faint yellow
- N-R – very light yellow
- S-Z – light yellow
Diamond colour grade is one of the factors that significantly affect diamond prices which is why this aspect should never be overlooked. Choosing the right colour for your setting could help you save a lot of money without affecting the look of your jewellery piece and overpaying for a feature that would remain unnoticed.
Best Setting for Diamonds with Yellow Tints
It is important to understand that polished diamonds are highly reflective, meaning the colour of the metal you choose will be reflected within the stone. So if you have a diamond with yellowish or brownish tints (K grade or lower), it’s not a good idea to have it set in a white metal such as platinum or white gold.
As a result of the increased contrast, the stone’s colouration will be more noticeable. That is why putting such a diamond in white metal will only make the stone look even more tinted.
Instead of going for a white setting, it is recommended to opt for a coloured metal such as yellow or rose gold. The metal’s colour will mask yellowish tints of the stone and make it look whiter against the mounting.
When choosing a setting for a tinted diamond, it is important to make sure the prongs are of the same colour as the rest of the setting. In case the mounting is made of coloured metal and the prongs holding the stone are white, they still enhance the yellow tints in your diamond.
Best Setting for Near Colourless Diamonds
The most suitable setting for a near colourless diamond will depend on where in the range your stone falls.
If your diamond is graded G or H, then the stone will barely have any tints, and it is safe to have your stone set in white gold or platinum.
If your diamond is graded I or J, then it will have a bit stronger yellow tint so it is better to opt for coloured metals. However, there is an exception to every rule. Round and princess cut diamonds tend to hide colour imperfections in the diamond rough, meaning it is still safe to have them set in white metals. For other cuts, you should consider a yellow or rose gold setting.
Keep in mind that visibility of yellow tints in a diamond also depends on its cut quality. An ideal cut stone may reflect light in a way that would make any tints nearly invisible, while a poor cut makes the colouration even more noticeable.
Best Setting for Colourless Diamonds
If your diamond falls within the colourless range (D-E-F), then you have a larger choice of settings.
Coloured metals work fine with colourless diamonds as they still stand out when mounted in them. However, it worth mentioning that such a setting will add some yellow tint to the stone.
In case you don’t want to add more colour to the diamond, you better have it set in white gold or platinum. If you still prefer coloured metals then it makes sense to use white metals for your prongs. This will help to make the centre stone look whiter against a coloured background. After all, if you have paid so much money for a colourless diamond, it is worth making sure that its colour won’t be tinted in any way.
There is also another reason to opt for white metal and it has to do with durability. White gold and platinum last longer than yellow or rose gold, ensuring that your prongs will wear down very slowly. As a result, you won’t need to get your ring fixed that often.